A new legal advice clinic has opened in Cardiff – the 200th in the LawWorks network.
Following a pilot period, the Cardiff Employment Law Pro Bono Advice Clinic officially opened its doors today at the Speakeasy Advice Centre in the Roath district of Cardiff. LawWorks had been lobbying for a new clinic following the closure of the Cardiff Law Centre in October 2014.
The clinic will operate fortnightly and will be supported by around 35 solicitors along with students from Cardiff University Law School and a volunteer clinic co-ordination team.
Martin Barnes, the chief executive of LawWorks, said: ”Our experience has shown legal advice clinics are an effective way to extend access to justice to a significant number of people. Last year, the LawWorks Clinics Network dealt with over 29,000 enquiries. While it is clear that pro bono cannot be seen as a replacement for legal aid it does provide an important lifeline to many with nowhere else to turn.”
Cuts to legal aid mean that pro bono is becoming an ever-more important source of access to justice, with students playing an increasingly central role.
A recent survey by LawWorks revealed that the majority of UK law schools are planning to increase their pro bono activities in the near future. The solicitors’ pro bono group quizzed law schools across the country, and 85 per cent of respondents said that they planned to increase their pro bono activities, while only 15 per cent did not.